The difference between counselling and psychotherapy is mainly about time and depth of engagement. Counselling tends to be short term, weeks to months, psychotherapy months to years. Both are about understanding and change, but with psychotherapy the aim is to change deeper seated structures of the self, which takes longer. Counselling can turn into psychotherapy, or not, it all depends on what you want for yourself.
Generally therapy is about being supported to become more aware of how we function, through investigating what is driving us to be the way we are, then understanding and integrating those insights. Change happens, not by attempting to change directly (which rarely works), but through awareness, understanding and taking responsibility for ourselves. We can usually only do this through being supported to deepen our awareness of our actual here and now experience, which is about opening up and facing our feelings, challenging our thoughts and attending to our bodies. With our head, heart and body communicating better we have greater presence and the ability to observe ourselves, this enables more awareness and insight and understanding. As part of this we can also re-find our creativity. Therapy can support these processes, which in turn helps us to access the deep wisdom we all have that is always trying to move us towards wholeness (just like the force that heals our bodies), that wants to repair our insecurity and develop towards our freedom and our potential.
Trauma in its widest sense affects most people, it forces the self to desensitize in order to avoid being overwhelmed. But these “adjustments” become deep habits which limit our relationship to our lives, limits our ability to get our needs met and our ability to grow and develop. Avoiding the hurt, distress, pain, fear, grief that we keep locked away is what causes us to get caught into insecurity with all its various forms. It causes us to make ourselves ‘bad’, ‘inadequate’ etc., resulting in all our over re-activity and self-destructiveness, anxiety and depression. These compensatory habits usually cause us to identify with only one part of ourselves, either our thinking over dominates, or we are “over emotional”, or our bodies take all our attention. Despite our best efforts, life is always pressing our ‘buttons’ and causing us to react in ways we do not want. To heal we need the presence and wisdom of the self that can only flow from re-integrating our heart, head and body. Therapy can really help with this task.
For details about my practice please see the New Clients page
For Couples & Marriage Counselling please see the Couples page
For information on groups and workshops – on the Groups page
For more about Gestalt – on the About Gestalt page and related articles
For information on the various forms that our ‘problems’ take please see the Anxiety / Depression / Anxiety page, the Addiction page, the Illness / Bereavement page, the Trauma, Abuse, PTSD page, the Weight Loss page, or the Smoking page. Each of these pages had its own downloadable leaflet.
For information about myself and my training – the Biography page
For comments from previous clients please see the Comments page
You can view or download my general leaflet here
I am a BACP accredited counsellor and psychotherapist, a UKAHPP accredited psychotherapist and a UKCP registered Psychotherapist.